This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes updates on the advancement of bills of interest to counties, links to a document with amendments filed last week of relevance to counties, provides an update on legislation proposing state mandates for the siting of wind farms, conveys information from the Attorney General's Office about Illinois' share of the national opioid settlement, shares encouraging news about state revenues, informs about the Comptroller's support for repealing laws that impose penalties on the state for late payments to service providers, announces a cohort of communities participating in the Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Program, includes information about housing assistance available through the Illinois Emergency Homeowner Assistance Fund, shares information about upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, spotlights ISACo corporate partner Nationwide and invites counties to join ISACo.
Legislation Approved by House/Senate Last Week
The following ISACo-tracked bills passed out of the House or Senate during the week of February 21-25 and will next be considered in the opposite chamber. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if your county would like to offer input on any ISACo-tracked bills.
House Bills Passed Out of House
HB 4646 - IMRF Employee Trustees (No Position)
HB 5048 Nursing Homes - POLST Forms (No Position)
HB 5538 Prevailing Wage - Public Works (Oppose)
Senate Bills Passed Out of Senate
SB 829 - Election - Vote By Mail System (No Position)
SB 1015 - County Executive - Appointments (No Position)
SB 1016 - Water Commission - Appointments (Support)
SB 1405 - Health Care Facilities - Visitors (No Position)
SB 1411 - Issuance of Death Certificates (No Position)
SB 1633 - Nursing Homes - Residents Rights (No Position)
SB 2912 - Superintendent of Public Works (Support)
SB 2977 - Hospital Licensing - Abuse (No Position)
SB 3082 - High Speed Rail Commission Act (No Position)
SB 3097 - Property Tax - Notice of Redemption (No Position)
SB 3127 - Emergency Medical Dispatchers (No Position)
SB 3187 - Counties Code - Recorder Stamp (Support)
SB 3460 - Local Officials - Administrative Leave (No Position)
SB 3633 - Local Government Demolition Documentation (No Position)
SB 3651 - IMRF Contributions (No Position)
SB 3652 - IMRF Early Retirement (No Position)
SB 3667 - Electronic Protective Orders (No Position)
SB 3695 - FOIA - Medical Records (No Position)
SB 3737 - County Judicial Facilities Fee (Support)
SB 3789 - Local Government Consolidation - 10 Years (No Position)
SB 3838 - Farmers' Market Retail Permit (Oppose)
Legislation Approved by Committees Last Week
The following ISACo-tracked bill passed out of House and Senate Committees during the week of February 21-25. Bills approved by committees are next considered by the full House or Senate. Legislation approved by committee last week that were also approved by the House or Senate are included in the section above. Please contact us at email@example.com if your county would like to offer input on any ISACo-tracked bills.
February 25 was the deadline to move Senate bills out of the Senate. The deadline for moving House bills out of the House is March 4.
SB 932 - Situational Remote Meeting Authority (Support)
The remote meeting authority legislation was approved by the Senate Executive Committee last week, but not called for a full Senate vote ahead of the key February 25 deadline. Consequently, it was re-assigned to the Senate Assignments Committee. ISACo will continue to work with our local government partner organizations to advance the proposed change in law.
Amendments Filed Last Week
Several amendments were filed during the week of February 21-25 that would impact or otherwise be of interest to county governments. A list of these amendments with summaries and ISACo positions is available via this link. ISACo will continue to review introduced amendments and take positions as necessary. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if your county has a question or would like to offer input regarding an ISACo position on a bill or amendment. Your comments and questions are always welcome.
Update on Wind Farm Regulation Legislation
In our February 14 News and Views e-newsletter we alerted counties to HB 4452 (Rep. Didech, D-Buffalo Grove). The bill would have imposed hearing requirements and timetables on counties with respect to the siting of wind farms. ISACo is opposed to the mandates in the bill as introduced. On February 16, the bill was amended to remove the wind farm provisions and the bill now includes language amending the Community Mental Health Act. The bill as amended was approved by the House and will next be considered in the Senate.
Opioid Settlement Agreement
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced final approval of the national $26 billion opioid settlement agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen – and one manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson. The companies will start releasing funds to a national administrator on April 2, 2022. States and local governments will start receiving funds during the second quarter of 2022. Illinois will receive $760 million from the settlement. More information is available via this link.
State Budget Revenues Exceed Estimates
The House Revenue Committee heard testimony from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA), the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) regarding revenue projections. House Leader Greg Harris (D-Chicago) anticipates the final State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023 budget will be predicated on conservative revenue estimates. Revenues for the current fiscal year are $4.6 billion higher than originally projected.
Comptroller Proposes Repeal of Prompt Payment Act and Vendor Payment Program
In testimony before a Senate budget hearing last week, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza called for repealing the Prompt Payment Act and Vendor Payment Program. The Prompt Payment Act imposes a 12 percent interest penalty whenever the state is late paying its bills. The Vendor Payment Program is a program that allows private investors to purchase debt owed to vendors and collect the interest penalty.
Comptroller Mendoza testified that the Prompt Payment Act is no longer needed because the state is currently paying bills within 17 days of receipt. Illinois’ bill backlog currently stands at $3.6 billion – which includes $900 million in late health care bills from the state’s group health insurance plan which the Governor proposes paying off in the next fiscal year.
Legislation to repeal the Prompt Payment Act and/or Vendor Payment Program has yet to be filed.
Governor Pritzker Announces Inaugural Cohort of Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Program
On February 24, 2022, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Broadband announced the six communities selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Planning Program. The six communities are the City of Springfield, Jackson County, Knox County, Mercer County, Whiteside County, and the Village of Elsah.
The 14-week intensive training program will help leaders from participating communities develop broadband plans responsive to their unique local needs and position them to effectively leverage newly available state and federal broadband infrastructure funding.
Click on this link to view the full press release and additional information regarding the Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Program.
IHDA Housing Relief
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) will be accepting applications for homeowners financially impacted by the pandemic beginning in April. The Illinois Emergency Homeowner Assistance Fund will provide up to $30,000 in free assistance per homeowner. Monies will be paid directly to the servicer, taxing body or other approved entity on behalf of Illinois homeowners impacted by COVID-19 to prevent mortgage delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures. Program information and updates are available via this link.
NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunities. ISACo is a proud partner with NACo and encourages counties to participate in NACo membership and activities.
Prenatal-Three Urban Peer Learning Network: Supporting Homebased Child Care Providers
(Monday, February 28, 2022, 1:00-2:00pm CST)
More than 7 million children, including 30 percent of infants and toddlers, receive child care in a home-based setting. Home-based child care (HBCC) plays an important role in the mixed delivery system by offering parents care options that have smaller class sizes, are culturally diverse, and may be closer to home or more affordable. Join this interactive discussion featuring Home Grown and county leaders to learn how your county can improve the quality of and access to home-based child care and better support these providers and their unique needs.
Click on this link to register for this event.
Jail Reentry for People with Substance Use Disorders Part 1: Meeting Immediate Needs
(Wednesday, March 2, 2022, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST)
Counties are implementing thoughtful and robust strategies to address the distinctive needs of individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) who are returning to the community from jail. Nearly two-thirds of people sentenced to jail meet the criteria for drug use or dependence, and reentry from jail can be a pivotal point in the justice process; this is especially true in times of instability like the current COVID-19 pandemic. Counties are supporting people’s reentry through housing, employment and transportation as well as accessing treatment.
Join NACo for part one in a three-part series on supporting people with a substance use disorder leaving jail. Presenters will discuss strategies counties can use to partner with government agencies and service providers to share information and develop jail reentry strategies that encompass training and workforce development, housing obtainment, accessing transportation and connections to behavioral health treatment.
This webinar is part of a three-part webinar series. Please join us and register for Part 2: Jail Reentry for People with Substance Use Disorders: Creating a Continuum of Care on March 16.
Click on this link to register for this event.
County Levers to Drive Economic Mobility: How Counties Are Increasing the Prosperity of their Residents
(Thursday, March 3, 2022, 2:00-3:00pm CST)
Counties are well-positioned to improve economic outcomes for the residents of their local communities. NACo’s new report analyzes the tools that counties can use to drive economic mobility, or movement up the economic ladder, over a lifetime. During this webinar, the report authors and county leaders will discuss the underlying elements of economic mobility and how counties can use local power and authority to foster upward mobility for residents. This session will present the report’s seven key policy areas in which counties hold particularly effective solutions to uplift communities and residents: housing, education and workforce development, health, community and neighborhood development, justice and public safety, technology and information access and financial security. The webinar will also feature examples from counties that have used these levers to promote successful economic outcomes for residents.
Information for county leaders about joining NACo’s Economic Mobility Leadership Network will also be shared.
Click on this link to register for this event.
Corporate Partner Spotlight
This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with Nationwide.
Over the past 85 years, focusing on customers and valuing people have helped Nationwide become one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world.
Even though Nationwide has dozens of affiliated companies, people are its biggest resource – and its greatest asset in providing excellent customer service to its customers. That's why its Supply Management Services group makes sure agents and associates get the best quality products and services, at the best possible cost. It's also why Nationwide has an Office of Customer Advocacy.
More information about the services provided by Nationwide is available via this link.
Click on this link to learn more about the benefits and opportunities available through ISACo's Corporate Partner Program.
Become an ISACo Member!
Is your county a member of ISACo? If not, why not?
ISACo is a statewide association whose mission is to empower county officials to provide excellent service to their residents.
ISACo member counties are comprised of forward-thinking public servants who recognize that the challenges confronting county governments require new and innovative ideas, collaborative solutions and collective advocacy at the state and federal levels of government.
Members of the association will benefit from education and training opportunities, peer-to-peer networking, shared resources and robust representation before policymakers at various levels of government. ISACo creates and connects county officials to these opportunities and successfully equips them to make counties ideal places to live, work and play.
If your county is interested in discussing membership in ISACo, please contact Executive Director Joe McCoy at (217) 679-3368 or email@example.com. ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.